The weather forecasters had it all wrong last weekend. They said it would be partially cloudy on Saturday, rainy on Sunday. Try it the other way around, guys. So I went to Circle B on Saturday hoping for partial cloudcover, and I got thick fog until around 10:00. But that was ok, because at 10:00, the Sandhill Crane family from the Marsh Rabbit Run nest brought their babies to the Heron Hideout trail to say hello. Apparently they continued to the picnic area by the nature center, as if to show off their new offspring. For the third year in a row, I had an awesome opportunity for pictures. :)
But before the cuteness came fog…lots of fog. Dyeyo and I walked up the Marsh Rabbit Run trail, and the fog settled in thicker and thicker. I could hear the eagles at their nest, but I couldn’t see them well. I guess this Red-Shouldered Hawk figured that the fog hid him, too, because he stayed perched out in the open as we approached.
I haven’t been over to photograph this year’s eagle nest at all. Using the Beast, I could barely make out the two dark forms of the eaglets in their nest. The parents were perched close by. The eaglets are getting big. They stood in their nest flapping their wings. Later one of the parents flew across the marsh towards me. I only had time to fire off a few frames. I love how the new Lightroom allows me to do selective sharpening in the Develop module. This image certainly benefited from a little sharpening on the head.
As we hiked back towards the parking lot, I watched the marsh, hoping to see the Sandhill Crane family with the two little colts. I finally spotted them making their way towards the Heron Hideout trail. The little colts have to work so hard to follow their parents through the tall swamp grasses!
The cranes brought their little family up onto the trail, where they strolled in front of a growing crowd of onlookers. Everybody stopped to watch the two little orange fuzzballs as they were fed by Mom and Dad. I got down low so that I could get some “colt’s-eye” views. As soon as I did, the babies decided to rest. Their little legs were tired!
Next week I need to head to the Barred Owl nest, before the owlets fledge… :)Bird Species List (30 total): American Coot, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher (heard), Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Black-Necked Stilt, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-tailed Grackle, Caspian Tern, Common Gallinule, Common Yellowthroat, Double-Crested Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Limpkin, Northern Cardinal, Osprey, Palm Warbler, Pied-Billed Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, Roseate Spoonbill, Sandhill Crane, Savannah Sparrow, Tree Swallow, White Ibis, Wood Stork, Yellowlegs sp